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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Apathy in Ireland

A survey by Lansdowne Market Research found that half of those questioned were unaware of the Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSA) launched by the government in a bid to increase pension coverage from 50% of the working population to 70% over the next three years. This plan would increase the number of pension-holders by 280,000. The findings confirm what many industry practitioners have been saying since the policy was announced by Anne Maher, the Pensions Board chief.

The standard product enjoys a flat-fee structure designed to make it easier to understand. But industry officials have complained that the stance of the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority seems to have discouraged people from using the scheme. In June it urged consumers think carefully before adopting the non-standard, flexible fee-based version of the PRSA.

The survey, commissioned by the Insurance Industry Federation, which represents the country’s life assurers, found the level of awareness was particularly low among farmers, those on low incomes, and the unskilled.